The Devil—under the guise of Old Scratch the lumberjack—makes Tom what appears to be a very tempting proposition. He offers him the buried treasure of Captain Kidd the famous pirate. The devil is somewhat vague as to what he expects in return, but it's suggested that he wants Tom's soul. Though tempted by the offer, Tom initially refuses. His wife is, if anything, even more greedy than he is; and he knows just how much she'd love to get her grasping hands on the treasure. But she's also a pretty unpleasant old harridan and Tom often goes for long walks in the forest to get away from her ceaseless nagging. Tom's relationship with his wife being as bad as it is, the last thing he wants is for her to share in any new-found wealth he might gain.